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Blogging is hard but very enjoyable work in my opinion. When I run across a good post, on a regular basis I try to comment or like it. To me this seems the best way to encourage people to keep up the good work and thank them.

This last week, I noticed that two of my favorite blogs are thinking out loud of giving up the ghost for lack of focus, content or other pressure related reasons. While summer is always slower, this has been a trend I’ve been seeing for the last six or so months. Three other blogs I’ve enjoyed for quite a few years have been abandoned with no forwarding address.

There are two articles I came across that I wanted to share with you.

First is an article by an author named Al Lewis on MSN Money titled “The Invisible Depression is here” I had to read it. If you’re a regular reader you know how I try not to discuss politics or religion. But I had to comment. I agree with the article and have felt since 2009 that this “Great Recession” is actually the Second Great Depression. PERIOD.

It’s not a recession and it will take at least four to five, if not more years to come out of it. No amount of media massaging by the government will change that. Repeating statements like “our so-called Great Recession ended in June 2009” is pure BS, pardon my French.

In the article the author made a few interesting points like:

  • “it’s important to remember that not everyone has to stand in a bread line during a depression”
  • “Nearly one out of seven Americans receives food stamps, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That’s more than 44 million people. If they all stood in a line and someone photographed them using black-and-white film, they easily could be mistaken for people from the 1930s.”
  • “Last month, the Associated Press reported that America’s poverty rate likely has hit levels not seen since the 1960s.”
  • “the wire service predicted the official poverty rate will come in as high as 15.7% when the Census Bureau releases it in September. That would wipe out all the gains of President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty.” OMG, I remember that!
  • “Globalization, technology, outsourcing, immigration and the schemes of financiers have taken their toll.”
  • “I take heart in suspecting that in a still-distant future, historians will look back with clarity and call this whole rotten period a depression.”

The author also talks about the toll that extended joblessness can take psychically, “What are the societal effects of millions of people sidelined for so many years on end?”. If you have a moment you should read the article, gives one pause.

As a result, I started connecting a few dots as it were. When blogging became more popular around 2005, it was new and fun, making friends across the inter-webs. The name is derived from web log which started out simply as an online diary of sorts. But, as we slid into the current Depression, it seems slowly and insidiously to have become very commercialized.

In this economy, almost everyone is trying to make more money…ANY MONEY!. So what was a recreational pastime for many has turned into a jungle. The competition for recognition (comments, likes, sponsors and so on) has changed the face of blogging.

Bloggers now face extreme pressure to create “useful” and “focused” content. What you write will determine your success and profitability. It also seems there’s a need or pressure to be a specific kind of blog, i.e. a food blog, a mommy blog, a car blog, life style blog, fashion blog, craft blog and so on. Look at the marketing entities that have arisen, Blogher/Food Network,etc.

The lowly web log has now become a stressful commercial activity for many with monetary rewards for few. With all the “how-to” information on how to build a more professional looking, gadget filled, award winning, SEO savvy, professionally photographed, super blog. It’s overwhelming for many. I’ve written about this somewhere in a past post on the negative pressure this kind of “competition” creates.

How does one’s ego cope and how do you compete with bloggers who get over 100 comments per day, book deals, TV shows and so on? It takes all the fun out of blogging because one is being intimidated into needing to be popular and perfect. I thought we all left cliques back in high school.

This little path of thought led me to think that once again that more people need to remember why they started blogging. For me it was a way to cope with a horrid five year long divorce and the attendant losses it brought. A way to get things out without burdening family and friends. But after a while it became more of a discovery of the person I had lost over the years and a way to choose to look at life in a more positive manner.

Since 2009, I’ve taken a few mini vacations from blogging. Something I think is necessary to recharge one’s batteries and keep the pressure of competition at arm’s length.

So today, when I ran across an article by Miss B. on Besotted Brand blog entitled “Blogging Advice-Unsolicited of Course” I knew I wasn’t alone in seeing the change and had to share it with you. She had some great insights and tips for bloggers. Do hope you’ll give it a read.

If you’ve made it this far, thank you. To end on a positive note, I’ll give you this little video. Maybe having a Corgi makes me more susceptible to laughing hysterically at it but hopefully it’ll give you a grin. Note:  something wacky happened and you need to click the YouTube link to see it…sorry. Still, enjoy.

Go to sleep with a smile on your face tonight.